Race Conditions - Race 14: LegenDerry Finale

01 July 2022

After its Le Mans Start, Race 14: LegenDerry Finale is on! This North Atlantic stage is the last ocean crossing of the Clipper Race circumnavigation and is expected to take the eleven teams just over two weeks to complete.

Bound for Northern Ireland’s Derry~Londonderry, the 3010nm race will see the return of the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint, Stealth Mode (for one 24 hour period) and also the Scoring Gate. And interestingly, the final three teams have decided to play their Joker. Dare To Lead, Seattle and Visit Sanya, China, will all receive double points for their Race 14 standings.

Ahead of the fleet’s departure, Deputy Race Director, Dale Smyth, explained what the Race Crew have in store for them.

Dale reported: “The North Atlantic weather patterns are dominated by low pressure systems that develop off the East Coast of the USA. These anti clockwise systems develop due to the cold air to the north near Newfoundland, warmer air coming up from the south and travel from west to east.

“Because these systems spin anti-clockwise, if the teams are lucky enough to climb onto one of them, they may be blessed with good downwind south-westerly conditions and a fast crossing.

“It is usually not possible to stay with a low pressure system all of the way across because they move faster than the fleet and so there can often be a transition and potentially lighter conditions as one system passes and another one approaches.

“The fleet is also going to be faced with the possibility of thick fog as it passes the area of Newfoundland. This is due to the warm Gulf Stream air meeting the cold waters of the Labrador Current. The Labrador Current also brings down icebergs from the Arctic into transatlantic shipping lanes and because of this, the Clipper Race Committee imposes ice limits that keep the fleet well south of any potential ice hazards.”

Qingdao is currently ten points clear of second placed Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and 14 points ahead of Punta del Este, sitting in third. So there is everything to play for in this battle across the Atlantic. The pressure is on. Who will hold their nerve? Follow the Race Viewer to see how this race plays out.

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